“B+ Positive” is not a grade, but an attitude when fighting pediatric cancer
The B+ Mission
Did you know that every day, 46 children are diagnosed with cancer? To put this into perspective, that is equivalent to almost two classrooms emptied per school day due to pediatric cancer. The B+ Foundation works to combat this statistic to create a brighter future for children. To do this, the foundation centers its actions on four main areas of focus. They aim to give financial assistance to families in need, provide funds for cancer research, raise awareness about pediatric cancer, and lastly, spread positivity and remind others to “Be Positive”. All four of these areas help create a world in which we can keep kids in the classroom, and out of the hospital.
The B+ Foundation was created to honor the life of Andrew McDonough, who lost his battle to leukemia at the age of 14. Joe, Andrew’s father, wanted to make sure that no other child and family had to go through what Andrew and the McDonough’s endured. At the hospital, they discovered Andrew’s blood type was B+, so the motto “Be Positive” quickly turned into their mantra. Although Andrew lost his battle, the foundation is determined to “Be Positive” when believing there could be a day that pediatric cancer is no longer the #1 disease killer for children and teens.
Through the efforts, Joe and the B+ Foundation have become the “largest provider of financial assistance to families of kids with pediatric cancer in the United States” (B+ Foundation). Surprisingly, the federal government’s cancer research budget only allocates 4% to childhood cancer, even when 49 children die every week due to cancer.
An ongoing issue…
As the words “in these times of uncertainty” are tirelessly spoken throughout the past couple of months of 2020, families of children who suffer from cancer are at an even greater disadvantage to pay for their child’s medical care. Unfortunately, cancer does not stop during a pandemic, even when parents are laid off and no longer have an income to pay for rent, hospital expenses, and necessities. It may be difficult to think that there are other illnesses outside of COVID-19 right now, but these children now not only have to fight their battle with cancer but with this highly contagious disease as well.
The financial aid that the foundation grants to families in need give them the peace of mind that they need to be able to cherish another day with their child. Even in unprecedented times, The B+ Foundation is emphasizing its mantra to “Be Positive” with what life brings our way.
Fundraising for Pediatric Cancer
The Be Positive nonprofit has many types of fundraising events. They specialize in partnerships with universities allowing for student-led, philanthropic organizations on university campuses across the country. These organizations also pair children who are fighting their battle, called “B+ Heros”, with other student organizations on campus to provide an outlet for the child to participate in fun activities and hang out with their new friends. One example of these organizations is UDance at The University of Delaware, which raised over $2.1 million dollars in 2019, and invites their B+ Heros to their dance marathon every year, in addition to the individual events held by organizations with their B+ Heroes throughout the semesters.
I discovered the B+ Foundation my freshman year at The University of Delaware. The founder, Joe McDonough, came to speak to my residence hall about this cause. Upon hearing Joe tell his story about his son, I immediately knew I had to be a part of this organization. I couldn’t imagine any more kids having to go through what Andrew did, but sadly, there are still thousands of kids who do.
One way that I have been involved with this non-profit is by supporting my university’s philanthropic organization called UDance. UDance partners with the B+ Foundation in a year-long effort to raise funds and awareness that culminates in a 12-hour dance marathon. The B+ Foundation partners with many schools across the nation to throw UDance fundraisers. The dances have raised millions of dollars to go directly towards families in need.
A Lasting Impact
I have had the opportunity to meet and talk with “B+ Heros”. These heroes are children currently fighting their battles with cancer who are paired with an organization on campus. The organization has the privilege to meet and do fun activities with the B+ Hero, which is uplifting for both the B+ Hero and the students involved.
My sorority was paired with a B+ Hero, and some of my favorite college memories are the events that she was able to come to. I’m looking forward to seeing how B+ will continue to support families in the future; and how I can continue to impact the lives of these courageous children.